COLUMBIA — One hundred and ten pitches.
That's the number Hickman baseball coach Dan Devine Jr. told junior pitcher Jonathan Jones he could throw before Jones headed to the mound Thursday afternoon against visiting team Blue Springs.
This was a first for Hickman this season. The Kewpies, who have used as many as four pitchers per game so far this season, haven't had one pitcher complete an entire game this year.
But with the go-ahead to throw 110 pitches instead of his normal 95 to 100, Jones, who Devine Jr. calls "JJ," was able to make it through seven innings in an 8-2 victory against Blue Springs.
"We like Johnson," Devine Jr. said. "He's one of those guys that does get stronger as the game goes on, and so we watch him real close, and he pitched well today."
Jones' consistent pitching allowed Hickman's offense to relax while at the plate, which showed in the hitting of junior Jared Hyler, who had three hits, including his first home run of the season.
"He's throwing pitches as well in the first inning as he does in the seventh," Hyler said. "That's really good if you can have a guy who throws strikes through the whole game. It takes the pressure off the offense."
Hickman (11-6) plays next against Rolla High School at 4:30 p.m. on Monday at Rolla.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.